Paying Alimony In A Lump Sum: Pros & Cons

If you’re getting a divorce in Utah and you earn significantly more than your spouse, you may be ordered to pay alimony to them. Although circumstances can vary on a case-by-case basis, often, a payer will make alimony payments on a regular basis (usually monthly) for a period of time decided by a judge.

However, perhaps you have a substantial amount of money already saved, or you have means of raising money, and are thus considering paying all alimony at once in the form of a lump sum. This may be an option in your situation.

A single blog entry can’t tell you whether this is a good idea. Factors to consider when weighing the decision to pay all alimony upfront instead of making regular alimony payments include the following:

Your Desire to Break Off Ties

There are various reasons some choose to pay alimony in lump sums even when they haven’t been ordered to do so. One of the most common reasons stems from a desire to completely cut off ties with one’s ex-spouse. If, for some reason, you want to minimize all contact with your spouse as soon as possible once your divorce is finalized, you might decide that taking care of alimony payments immediately is preferable to paying alimony over time.

The Mental Burden

Knowing that you have to make monthly alimony payments can result in a mental burden that follows you until you’ve fulfilled your obligation. If you’d like to avoid this type of stress, paying alimony in a lump sum might be ideal.


Although the above two factors may give you reason to believe that paying alimony at once is the best option, you must always consider the fact that this will involve making a very large payment. Even if you technically have the funds to do so, you don’t want to make a rash decision, only to later realize you would have been financially better off if you were disciplined and continued to pay alimony according to a strict schedule.


Court orders regarding alimony aren’t always final. In some instances, they can be modified.

For example, perhaps at some point during the period when you’re supposed to be making alimony payments, the financial situation of you or your ex changes significantly. This could warrant a modification which may result in you paying less than you were initially ordered to pay. That’s not an option if you pay alimony in one lump sum.

There’s no universal answer to the question of whether it’s more advisable to pay alimony in monthly installments or to pay it all at once. The best option for one person may be the worst for another.

No one can make this decision for you. However, an expert may be able to provide some better insights into the pros and cons of each option as they relate to your specific needs.

Salt Lake City divorce attorneyEmy A. Cordano deeply understands that addressing these issues when divorcing a spouse can be challenging. That’s why she’s happy to discuss them with clients when necessary. For more information about how she can assist you throughout the divorce process, contact her online or call her at (801) 901-8159.

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